Recap Of Where We Are Now:
The NBA playoffs are coming down the stretch towards the NBA finals and after Tuesday nights matchup between the Clippers and the Nuggets, only four teams remain.
Those four teams are the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Denver Nuggets. The Heat and the Celtics have already kicked off their series with the Heat taking game 1 in a thrilling overtime win and taking game 2 in a close match as well. As the heat took the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Denver Nuggets fought their way into the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 11 years. Coming into the Conference Finals are four extremely talented teams, although most people think that the Lakers have no competition and will win the finals easily. As the season ended and we entered the playoffs, most people anticipated a Lakers versus Clippers matchup in the Western Conference Finals and for the Milwaukee bucks to at least make the Eastern Conference Finals. We are now coming into the third round of the playoffs after many emotional games. The Milwaukee Bucks shocked everyone when they got easily eliminated by the Miami Heat. The Bucks were the biggest shocker in the Eastern Conference but in the Western Conference, the Clippers surprised everyone. Coming into the bubble, many people thought of the Clippers as a more talented team than the Lakers and ultimately the best team in the Western Conference. The Clippers started off the playoffs strong, defeating the Dallas Mavericks in six games. The Clippers continued their good stretch of play into the West semi-finals, where they quickly took a 3-1 lead on the Nuggets. Despite the Clippers being within reach of the Conference Finals, they gave the Nuggets way too many chances, leading to the Nuggets beating them three games in a row and eliminating them from playoff contention. You hopefully now understand what has gotten us to the point we are at in the playoffs. Once again, there are four teams remaining and a lot of good basketball to be played.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are easily the favorites to win the NBA finals and they are led by a three-time NBA champion in LeBron James. The Lakers came into the playoffs as the favorites to win the NBA finals and they have backed up those predictions fully. In the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers faced Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers. After losing game 1 of the series, the Lakers heated up and won the next four games in a row, advancing to the Western Conference semifinals. In the semi-finals, the Lakers were exposed to a bit harder of a matchup in the Houston Rockets. The Houston Rockets came to the semi-finals after a narrow escape from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. The Rockets started off hot against the Lakers, winning the first game by 15 points. Just as the Lakers did in the first round, they heated up again and won four straight games to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers have had four days of rest since their win against the Rockets that propelled them into the Conference Finals. In the Conference Finals, the Lakers will face the Denver Nuggets. This series will begin Thursday night and is likely to be very entertaining. The Nuggets have fought very hard to get where they are and after winning three straight games against the Clippers, they will look to carry their hot streak into the series against the Lakers. Some key players for the Lakers will be Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma. Lebron and Davis almost always bring their A-game so the main focus will be getting top production from Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma is a pretty inconsistent player, but when he gets hot, he is hot. If all three of those players can play their best, they will have no problem taking on the Nuggets. Now it’s time for my predictions. I believe that the Lakers will come into game one a little bit rusty after not playing for over 4 days. The Nuggets will easily take game 1, surprising fans all over and waking up the Lakers from their NBA finals dream. I think the Lakers will come into the game ready to play and will beat the nuggets in an overtime thriller. The Lakers have played 2 series so far in the playoffs and have lost the first game both of them. After losing the first game, the Lakers continued to win 4 straight in both series. I think that the Lakers will somewhat carry this over into the series against the Nuggets. The Lakers will most likely win games 2 and 3 and take a 2-1 series lead. I find the Lakers and the Clippers to be very similar play styles and I believe that because of their similarities, the Nuggets will be able to recognize the do’s and don’ts earlier on in the series. The Nuggets will win games 4 and 5 and take a 3-2 series lead. With the pressure of not advancing to the finals in the minds of the Lakers players, I think that the Lakers will clutch up in game 6, pushing the series to a game 7. In game 7, both teams will come out hot leading to them being tied at halftime. In the second half of the game, the Lakers will get off to an early lead which will carry into the fourth quarter. I believe that the Nuggets will come into the 4th quarter with a deficit of around 10 points. despite being down coming into the fourth quarter, I think that Jamal Murray will lead the nuggets to a comeback win. The Nuggets defeating the Lakers will come as a surprise to many people but it will just be the beginning for the Denver Nuggets. In conclusion, the Los Angeles Lakers NBA Finals’ dreams will be short-lived as they will fall to the Denver Nuggets in seven games, pushing LeBron’s shot at a fourth championship to next season.
The Denver Nuggets are one of the teams that have exceeded expectations in the NBA bubble. The Denver Nuggets came into the playoffs as the three seed, but have defeated 6th seed Jazz and the second seed Clippers. It was not surprising that the Denver Nuggets beat the Jazz, it was just surprising how they did so. Denver won the first game of the series, but continued to lose three in a row, two of those games being blowouts. Down 3-1 in the series, the Nuggets came back by winning three straight games, despite the postponement of games that shut down the league for a couple of days. After the Nuggets narrowly escaped the Utah Jazz, they were faced with an even more difficult matchup in the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers were expected to blow out the Nuggets in almost every game, but that is definitely not what happened. The Nuggets repeated the sequence of wins and losses that they had in the series with the Jazz. They started the series by losing 3 out of 4 games, but they then won three in a row, allowing themselves to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Denver Nuggets are now preparing for their first game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. The Lakers are by far the Nuggets hardest opponent and they have great odds stacked up against them. The Nuggets have many offensive threats though that could power them through the Lakers. Those weapons go by the names of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Both of these players have been playing at the top of their games throughout the playoffs and I don’t see any sign of that coming to an end. Although the Nuggets are extreme underdogs, I see them surprising everyone in the NBA once again. I think that the Nuggets will find themselves in their third seven-game series and I think they will carry over the results from both of the series with the Jazz and the Clippers. The Nuggets will advance to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history. All in all, the Nuggets will shut down the Lakers hope of winning the NBA Championship and they will advance to take on the extremely hot, Miami Heat.
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